Does your job require adaptability or agility?

We use several powerful questions and to analyze a recent job report from LinkedIn to see whether the most asked

Recently took a look at a new job report from LinkedIn. It listed the Top 25 professions for which the demand has risen particularly strong in recent time. Top Entries: sustainability consultant, analyst for cybersecurity, consultant for public administration, energy consultant, social media manager,… At first, these jobs don’t have much in common, right?

These jobs require very different professional skills. However, there is one significant commonality.

Let’s imagine the typical process of work of these professionals, and ask ourselves these questions:

Powerful Questions to See Adaptability in Your Job

1. What is the customer of an organization expecting them to help create? What is the final product?

=> Often these are some form of changed processes – enhancing sustainability or cybersecurity or processes in a public institution, etc.

2. How different are such final results for different clients? How much adaptation to the individual client needs is there? How often do these change?

=> I am sure there are several common themes for all clients. But I am sure, when it comes to what works for a client and what does not, a large portion of work is very customer-specific.

3. Can these specialists deliver value to their customers independently of other professionals?

=> Often they require other specialists to collect data, analyze, plan, deliver, and communicate their results in a team with them.

4. How often is coordination with such colleagues necessary to be successful?

=> Daily coordination is often beneficial if many specialists are required to make a customer happy. It prevents someone from going for too long in the wrong direction.

5. How useful is it to regularly check whether you are on the right track (with having an impact with the client) with your work and potentially change direction?

=> Typically the first result – a.k.a. changed process – isn’t working as intended. Most of the time such work requires many iterations. So checking the result with the client every couple of weeks is beneficial. However, even though in theory most people understand it, in reality in most organizations this check isn’t happening.

6. How far in advance can these people plan their work without expecting to have to adjust it?

=> Typically the detailed working plan would be changed after receiving feedback from the customer every couple of weeks. But since this is often missing, no adjustment is made to the plan.

You can ask yourself the same questions in your job. If your answers are the same, chances are you can truly benefit from being more adaptable in your work. It is essential for success in almost all of the 25 professions mentioned in this report. However, most working environments aren’t structured to support frequent checking of results and self-organized collaboration in a team.

How Agility / Adaptability Become More Important

Today, a growing number of jobs need more and more adaptability because they are dealing with increasing unpredictability. This is rooted in two factors: The amount of unpredictability is growing in our world – due to the accelerating speed of technological progress, more jobs affecting human behavior, increased competition through globalization and higher interdependency in all industries. Everything that isn’t unpredictable is automated by robots and/or algorithms. So what is left for people to do is to deal with what cannot be automated.

In the world of working with software, the need for adaptability has surfaced very clearly already over 30 years ago. Professionals have created a large number of approaches and tools, which can serve in many other industries and places of work.

I firmly believe that creating working environments for people, that allow for adaptability will be the key management skill of this century in any industry. I’ve been working with professionals from very different industries including non-profit organizations and government agencies that have a very urgent and obvious need to be adaptable for many years.

Learn Today

Through this work, I’ve identified the main approaches and principles from the software world that are useful everywhere. I’ve collected and explained them without all the technical jargon in my book “The Art of Slicing Work”. There you can find helpful easy to easy-to-understand examples and guides to create a workplace that reduces micro-management and instead ensures more ownership and responsibility, innovation, and motivated & self-organized teams.

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